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the hon. Gentleman would have many opportunities, during its different ftages, to point out what he thought wrong in the bill, and to propole what amendments he ihould think proper.
Mr. Il'ilberforce expressed his concern at what had just been said relative to the mediation of Russia ; he was sorry to hear his right hon, and learned Friend (the Attorney General) speak so lightly as to its probable effect. From such a mode of viewing it, the measure that had been adopied seemed rather to have been a conciliation of parties in that House, than a grave and serious intention of effecting a peace through the medium of a neutral power.
The Attorney General, in explanation, said, that in speaking of the mediation of Russia, he only meant to say, that the difficulties alļuded to by the hon. Gentleman of restoring prizes, were too liglit a consideration to be allowed to retard a measure fo important and neceffary as the present.
Mr. IV'iberforce explained.
The question was then put, and leave granted to bring in the bill.
DEFENCE OF THE REALM. The Secretary at Il'ar said, that as the measure for raising the army of reserve was now disposed of, it was his duty to give notice, that he Thould, on Tuesday next, move for leave to bring in a bill, to render more effectual the act of the present leffion, for the better defence of the realın.
ASSESSED TAX COLLECTION CONSOLIDATION BILL. Mr. Alexander brought up the report.
Colonel Ayre thought the penalty of 100l. and forfeiture of office, inflicted by the bill upon furveyors, at the difcretion of the commissioners, much too high for inadvertent surcharges; as, in many cases, they were liable to errors which were not really culpable. He was aware of the necessity, that the crown thould not be defrauded of its revenue, but it was of equal importance that the subject should be protected from oppression. What he wished was, that the surveyors should be compelled to institute previous enquiries to their making a surcharge. He therefore moved the bill to be recommitted, for ihe purpose of moving a clause, which could not be brought in at this last stage, for, at the same time, imposing a check on the surveyor, and affording relief to the subject.
Mr. IV. Smith also represented the bill as imperfe& in its existing state. The penalty he considered as too great, when it could be exerted; at the same time that it was out
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of the power of nineteen persons out of twenty to go to ille expence of profecuting tlie furveyor, though they might find themselves aggrieved.
The Attorney Genera! said, there was certainly a great difficulty, on the confideration of the meafure. The penalty on the misconduct of the surveyor was undoubtedly fevere, but it afforded, at the fame time, great prote&tion to the fubje&, who might have his action in cafts of illegal or vexatious furcharges. It was evident fome furcharges may be legal, and vet vexatious, and vice versa. He law fomc Gentlemen laugh at a remedy by action, but then they Mould recollect, that they were, at the same time, laughing at the laws of the country, which in no całe afforded any other remedy than justice.
Sir W. Pulteney faid, that it was not in the power of every man to go to law with a survevor, who, in fact, had a premuin for many of the acts of injuitice he might coinit.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer denied that the surveyors were entitled to any premium, except where the charge hould be confirmed. A clause, be said, would be proposed ma clause for giving a discretion in this case, and that the penalty Mould be made not to exceed 1001. as he did 100 with tó oblige them to use fo much precaution, that it may lead to a neglect of the security of the revenue.
Several of the Members who spoke before explained ; after which the motion for the recommitment was negatives.
The Attorney General then moved an amendment, that there should be a power to mitigate the penalty on surveyors, at a discretion, which would limit the highest sum tó 100l, which was adopted, the report agreed to, and the bill ordered to he read a third time on Monday following.
The New Forcit game preservation bill went through a Committee, and was ordered to be reported on Monday.
The report of the clergy relief bill was agreed to, and ordered to be read a third time on the same day.
Mr. Bragge gave notice, that on Monday following he Thould move for leave to bring in a bill for the amendinent of the Thames police act.
The Lords' amendmenis to the Tris parfonage house bill were agreed to, and the bill returned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
SATURDAY, JULY 9.
The Irish asmy of reserve bill and the lottery bill pailed the Commice, and were reported and read a thisd iime ; the iwo funding orders against pailing more than one Nage of a bill in one day, having been, in conformity to Lord Wallingham's motion on Thursday, fufpended.
WOOLLEN MANUFACTUKE BILL. Lord Rawdon (karl of Moira) rose and said, he could not but lainent, that a bill of so much imporlarice should have come up to thai House at fujale a period of ille lillion, that' ir was iinpoftible to give it the full deliberation har ike' grearness of the object of the bill required. The bid was called the woollen manufacturers' bill, but it far exceeded the reach of its lille; it was, in fadi, a bill which werillo ihe putting an end to, and repealing all the numerous acts of Parliament affecting every branch of business connected with the woollen manufacture, Thai stood on the lainie bok. His Lordship raid, he had looked into the faites at Jarge. with parricular anxiety, as to all the acts relative to the woollen manufacture, and he readily aloited, that many of their provisions were inapplicable to the present time, many of the regulations interly impracticable at this moment, and others utterly useless; but among the mars, there were sevesal very good and politic provisions, wisely conceived by our anceitors, and fit in be preserved. He could nor, therefore, but think, that instead of extinguishing the whole of the various regulations by one sweeping bill, the more prudent course of proceeding would huve been to have brought in a Thort bill of indemnity for all tranfgre!lions against the pyisting Itaruies respecting the woollen manufacture, up to the present time, and have left the confideration of a nore extenlive till open to the reflection and investigation of their Lordihips, and the Members of the other House of Parliament, doring the short interval which might be expedio take place between the end of the present and the commenceinent of the nexi fellion. Considering that the bill had pated the other Hufe, and was now before their Lordihips; considering like wise, that a nobie Lord, who had muc: interefted himself on the subje&t, was not prefent, he thought the second scading ought not to be hurried, or regarded as a
matter of course. There were various petitions on the table, nos indeed against the principle, but against various clauses of the bill; he thould hope, iherefore, that the petitioners might be allowed to have counsel, to fuin up such evidence as mighi be adduced before the Coinmittee. The other House had examined many witnesses, and had favoured their Lordihips with a copy of the evidence they had received. He had, his Lordthip laid, perused the evidence with great attension, but he was not quite farisfied that it went far enough to justify the doing away all the regulations which the wisdom of our ancestors liad provided, respecting the woollen manufacture. Ai any rate, the perisioners ought to be heard upon the allegations of their respe Stive petitions, aid he thought the proper lime for tlicis being so heard would be in the Committee. His Lordíhip said, he was the more anxious to lay in this claim for them, because, although he hoped he was not to be considered as a very lax aitendant on his parliamentary dury, he could not engage 10 be present at the discussions which might take place on the subsequent stages of the bill, being obliged to go into the country. He thought the justice of the case entiiled the petitioners to be fairly heard, and their Lordships, he was persuaded, would not refuse them that reasonable requeit.
The Lord Chancellor left the woolfack, and declared that he concurred entirely with his noble Friend (if he would allow him so to express himself) in the opinion, that the bill was a bill of the vimost importance, and well entitled to Their Lordlhips' most serious alieniion. In the course of the last feflion, a bill had been brougirt up to that House from the House of Cominons, the object of which was to repeal no less than two and Iweniy acts of Parliament. On that occasion, he had felt it his duty to look to the purview and provilions of those Itarutes, and he must concur with his noble Friend in saying, that many of the regulations enacted by those statutes were uiterly impradlicable at present; some imposed penalties, unless the manufacturers purfued a line of condu& which they could not now poftibly pursue. Many of those acts were dead--hai was obsolete, and uniVersally held to be so. But fill there were some very wise provisions to be found in those statutes; and it became a marter of deep consideration, whether it was expedient to wise away, by a single bill, all that the wisdom of our ancait ss had provided, as necesary regulations to govern the
'woollen manufacture ; regulations, under which the woollen manufacture had thriven for so many centuries. Where a bill aimed at doing so much at once, it certainly ought to be watched with peculiar exertion, and almost with unabaling jealousy. With regard to the petitions on the table, as far as he had looked into them, they appeared to be rather charged with complaints against particular clauses than against the principle of the bill. If, therefore, the petitioners wished io be heard against the principle, they must present a petition for that purpose; but, if they adhered to their present peti. tions, they inight either be heard before the Committee, on the report, or on the third reading. Certainly, with respect to the existing statutes, there were three lines of proeeeding to be adopted_either they might be suspended (but suspending bills was an abuse of legislative conduct, and he hoped he should hear no more of it); the next was, the repeal of an act, found from change of circumstances to be impracticable, but that was a matter that called for the most serious consideration, and should be closely examined before it was decided upon; the last was an act of indemnity, which his noble Friend had alluded to. In the present care, his Lordship said, it was absolutely necessary that the petitioners (hould be dealt with fairly, and that they should be satisfied that their case had undergone a full consideration, before the bill passed, if it were to pass at all. He should, most unquestionably, listen to all the argumenis that could be advanced at the bar in their behalf, and keep his mind perfectly open to conviction, before he formed any decided opinion on the subject.
Lord Rawdon (Earl of Moira) moved, that the bill be read A fecond time on Monday next. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
MONDAY, JULY II. The judges delivered their opinions on the appeal, Lothian and Henderson. The case briefly was, that Henderson and Co. Virginia merchants, insured a veffel, belonging to them, with the appellants, in this country. An agreement was afterwards entered into, by which the insurers agreed 10 take all risk upon themselves, provided the insured. proved that the vessel was captured by ihe French, who condemned ber as a prize. The question was, whether the proceeding